3-Star Reviews, Books & Reviews

‘Someone You Know,’ by Olivia Isaac-Henry: Book Review

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Star Rating: ★★★✰✰

Popsugar Reading Challenge Prompt: A book about a family

Someone You Know is an interesting exploration into the harm that can come from family secrets, and the fractures they can cause.

Plot:

someone-you-know-olivia-isaac-henry

Tess Piper has spent the last 20 years trying to convince herself that her twin sister is alive. Edie went missing when they were both 14 years old, and with no leads and no suspects, the case had gone cold, but Tess couldn’t bring herself to think of her sister as dead.

Until she gets a phone call from her father telling her that Edie’s body has been found and she must come home.

Back with her family, Tess has to confront the past that she has tried to forget. Her depressed father, her uncle who always preferred Edie, and the death of her mother in a car accident.

But as the police look into Edie’s death Tess starts to wonder if someone closer to home knows more than they’re letting on.

It’s a slow-paced story, but it works.

Told from two perspectives, Tess in the present, and Edie in the past, we’re drip-fed information slowly. A quiet tension builds as Tess delves into her past and that of her family and the reader learns what was going on in Edie’s head in the months before her disappearance.

There’s a dark atmosphere and I think that has a lot to do with the two narrators. Tess, who is mostly drunk and not responsible when it comes to her life choices, and Edie, a teenager trying to come to terms with new friends, the disappearance of a neighbour, and a sister who smothers her.

There are no likeable characters in this book.

But that’s not to say they’re not interesting and well-written.

Tess is a complicated person, which is always compelling to read in a fictional character.

Her relationship with Edie is bordering on unhealthy. As children, they were always together, but as they grew up and Edie wanted to be more independent, Tess was reluctant to let her go, always questioning what she was doing and getting angry when Edie wanted to be alone.

As an adult, she spends most of her time drinking or being hungover and late for work. She has recently split from her boyfriend, but they still live together, and she drunkenly crawls into his bed when she gets home from a night out.

The book is thick with emotion …

… but none of it is being spoken about. Tess and every other member of the family keep their emotions hidden from the others, keeping secrets and adding to the tension that already exists in the house. It’s a horrible way for them to live but makes a great read.

The slow burn of this book means it’s not something that’s going to keep you up all night reading. But it’s definitely worth it for the ending.

I was sure I had it all figured out at multiple points in the book, but I was wrong every time. I’m sure these twists and red herrings were put there by Isaac-Henry to distract us so we couldn’t figure out what had actually happened, and it flippin’ worked.

A good book overall, and worth a read.

Someone You Know is available from Avon Books and Amazon.

(note: this is an affiliate link and therefore I may receive a fee from any purchase through this link, at no extra cost to you).


If you liked this, you might also like:

Second Life, by SJ Watson, or
Her Name Was Rose, by Claire Allan

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